Between 2000-2010 we farmed a few acres of vines, which were leased to us by Renaissance Vineyards, a local winery where I made wine for over 15 years. These vineyards originally covered 365 acres of steeply sloping contoured terraces, creating a breath-taking panorama, and offering an incredible range of soil and microclimate combinations, plus 700 ft. of elevation drop from the top to the bottom of the vineyard and all possible exposures… In that vineyard, it was possible to successfully farm, nearly side by side, an astonishing spectrum of grape varieties, traditionally associated with entirely different growing regions. This was the origin of a number of our wines: Carte Blanche, Tickled Pink, Heart of Stone, Cuveé Mysterieuse, and Black Pearl.
Our Black Pearl did not just jump out of Zeus’s head fully formed and armed.. A few years of intense experimentation while making wine at Renaissance in the 90s taught me a few things about the expression of terroir through various grape varieties and, especially, the co-fermentation of field blends. In 1998, we tried our first co-fermented Cabernet and Syrah. The results were exceptional for the vintage, which was generally considered “difficult” for red wines in California. This propelled me to repeat the experiment in 1999, this time using the highest-quality fruit we had, from the small rocky section at the top of the vineyard we referred to as the “Granite Crown”. To put it mildly, the results did not disappoint. This wine is here offered to you as part of our “Once Upon a Time” series.
1999 may be the most elegant Black Pearl ever produced. It is medium-full bodied, bursting with juicy fruit, and caressing with its velvety texture. Exceptionally well balanced and graceful on the palate. This wine has always been a charmer but now, close to its full maturity, it shows its full aromatic bloom, while still holding a promise to keep giving pleasure for many more years to come.